The discombobulating spectacle of Chinese largesse

Two stories at The Australian capture it. First the suing of John Garnaut:

A Fairfax Media journalist and former adviser to Malcolm Turnbull had a “puerile attitude of resentment and gloating” when he wrote an article linking Chinese real estate billionaire Chau Chak Wing to allegations of bribery, a court has heard.

John Garnaut and Fairfax Media are facing legal action launched by Mr Chau alleging he was defamed in a report published in late 2015 that suggested he had bribed a UN official and had built his business empire in Australia on “hot air” and bribes to officials.

Bruce McClintock SC, opening his case for Mr Chau, said the October 16 article on The Sydney Morning Herald’s website referenced his client’s “imperial palace” in China and that he may prefer to “bunker down” amid the UN bribery scandal allegations.

Meanwhile in the testicular-free zone of Sydney University we get the following, also from The Australian:

The University of Sydney’s plan to destroy a large group of trees near its front gates to make way for a $15 million museum and study centre funded by controversial China-based businessman Chau Chak Wing has sparked new protests across the campus.

An approved landscape plan for the building, to be named after Mr Chau, prescribes chopping down up to 18 native and other trees that have been a prominent feature of the campus main ­entrance off Parramatta Road for decades. Trees listed for removal include a scribbly gum, kanooka water gum, Queensland brush box, African olive, Aleppo pine and weeping bottle brush.

…Greens on Campus spokesman Laurence Chappell told The Australian that management seemed to have ignored complaints that significant trees would be ­destroyed.

In summary:

  • Domainfax sued into silence…
  • as ‘bastion of truth’ Sydney University builds with the money…
  • while the Greens worry about the trees.

That is so %$^*#! up that I do not know where to start.


  1. sydboy007MEMBER

    The greens are easy to understand. They have similar authoritarian tendencies, and increasingly sound like the moralising CCP in ensuring public harmony. Wont surprise me to see the greens quite keen on a social credit score to you know, fight nazis.

    • The greens can fk up. The maths is simple – 300,000+ annual population growth means you will have to chop down a few trees.

      I’m glad that at least some of those trees are in the nice leafy suburbs and places that the Green degenerates care about (like the Syd uni campus).

  2. I understand the personal frustration with selected overseas influence but do we all understand that defamation protection is part of democracy and that controversial is not equal to proven corrupt or that trees are chopped because a corrupt official approved the project (echoes of east sydney light rail).
    If domestic corruption did not exist or was punishable by law…

      • Australia’s anti-defamation laws are there to protect the rich and powerful.

        – Only one journalist dared report on Banaby’s affair or barna-baby before his re-election.
        – Joe Hockey also sued Fairfax for defamation
        – The corrupt NSW politician Eddie Obeid, won millions from three separate rounds of defamation. Now that these allegations were found to be true, there is no redress for Fairfax. Obeid keeps his winnings.
        – A bloggers was sent to jail for publishing items on Channel 7’s boss see

        Our legal process has no defense that the statements were true, just that they could be viewed as defamatory.

        Fairfax is the last independent news outlet standing, and is badly wounded.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      A better “part of democracy” would be to put it to the people,…directly, whether or not we allow public instutions and individuals to be lobbied with financial donations at all.
      Simply make a law that outlaws the recieving of moneys or positions by government instutions politicians and officials during their tenure and for a reasonable amount of time afterwards (5 years I’d go with)
      With strict enforcement and lengthy jail times,…we’d be doing a better job at “protecting our democracy”, than with defamation law suits aimed at journalists, by billionaires with links to the largest Undemocratic Authoritarian dictatorship the world has ever seen,…DJ

      • “the people” are unworthy of making decisions like that in a “democracy”. that’s the job of politicians and can’t be left to the masses.

      • the largest Undemocratic Authoritarian dictatorship the world has ever seen

        There’s one country in this world that allows lobby groups to trade current and future influence for current and future favours (and other way round) as long as cash does not change hands directly. I wonder if this is that “undemocratic dictatorship” you refer to.

        I see defamation laws as problem mostly for lazy journalism or a presstitute works (no agenda investigative journalism did not have such issues as it dealt with hard facts) and point towards selective memory choice on who’s labelled undemocratic.

      • EP,
        nope, to say that would not only be naive but outright stupid.
        I just was not quite sure which “authoritarian dictatorship” you were referring to.

        What I notice is that this domain is exclusively citing up to two “authoritarian dictatorship” for them being guilty of every (in)conceivable crime but a selected one is observed only under double dose of the blue pill. Hence my comments.

    • “controversial is not equal to proven corrupt”

      Let me tell you this: billionaire in Communist China = corrupt.

      Ain’t no assembly-line-worker or tractor-driver to billionaire story. This is the real world.

      • Own perception of corruption has nothing to do with legal.
        UK is inviting corrupt rich Ruskies and gives them “asylum” if they transfer their money, we sell houses to anyone with cash at hand (money laundering) and yet only one chiink chap is corrupt to aghast?

        The moment you get the mob or a few chosen to decide whom is corrupt and not the law, you’ve lost the democracy.

    • The freedom to report on unpleasant matters which relate to powerful individuals without being financially crushed is also a part of democracy though… it’s a balancing act, and defamation laws in Australia are definitely skewed in favour of the wealthy in any event – not simply because they have access to the best lawyers but the financial harm component of defamation law (you need to demonstrate financial loss, or a negative effect on your ability to earn money, to succeed in a defamation action as a plaintiff).

      It would be a perverse outcome if this dude showed that he suffered financial loss because his ability to freely bribe all and sundry was impeded as a result of being exposed as a bribing dude…

      • It would be great if that were the outcome.

        That’s the kind of stuff revolutions have historically been built on.

      • defamation laws in Australia are definitely skewed in favour of the wealthy in any event –

        Name a country that this is not the case.
        US is the arch-example of such skewing.
        But our laws are laws and we cannot blame others for exercising their legal right when it does not suit our personal views.

        Freedom of speech does not have to clash with defamation. Journalism often resorts to ‘publish-before-others’ rather than actually investigate any “news”

  3. BoethiusMEMBER

    All Uni of Syd alumni should write a short note to the VC and cc the Chancellor noting the reputational damage being done to the Uni.

  4. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    Did Alex just use the phrase Ruddoculous,…?
    He must be a reader of the Daily Telegraph,…that’s what they used to call Kevin Rudd,… wasnt it?

  5. scootytootyMEMBER

    Please tell me that the study centre will have a wing called the Chau chak wing.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      ….and I’m sure it will have a noodle shop selling hot chicken wings …….right at the front gate at Sydney Uni …the China dream for Straya is advancing well .

    • Shouldn’t it be the Chau Chak Wing Wing?

      Or if it houses the mathematics department the Chau Chak Wing (squared)?

  6. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Youse guys are THE BIGGEST negative nancys going, really, you are. Rich Chinamen dude decides to invest some of his profits into Australian education, with no strings attached, and all you can do is make dark sh1t up in your heads. The guy is a legend and has built one of THE BEST buildings ever in Sydney at UTS –
    Oh, and there’s way too many trees and grass around that area already, it’s a boring stretch, so a few less to make way for this major enhancement is a small price to pay.

    • The thing that makes your comments so funny Reusa is that there are actually people out there that talk like that. Thanks for regularly shining a light on the abject stupidity of our fellow citizens.

      • I think he believes it these days. Stockholm syndrome. He’s so keen I’ve heard he’s taking over the rights on the struggling US series called Flip it or Flop it. Flip it for a profit and he proves he’s still got it. If he makes a loss, he flops and gets the booby prize – to knock the agent off instead. R Rated of course.

  7. michael francis

    Dumb arsed media and dumb arsed politicians only exist because our dumb arsed electorate put them there.
    Anyway, back to the footy and My House Rules.

  8. I you think this is @#$%^ up than just imagine the story were set at some point in the future and involved a Chinese multinational corporation suing the Australian government for reputation damage caused by the Australian government enacting and enforcing the new Anti Influence laws under the Investor State Dispute Settlement Clause of our Free Trade agreements.
    Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas Australia anymore.

  9. They should pay Andrew Robb to negotiate a free speech agreement between Australia and China.